Having just come fresh off a long weekend in Southern California behind the wheel of a 2012 SLS AMG, it’s safe to say we have Mercedes-Benz’s gullwing sports car firmly on the brain. So we consider it a little serendipitous to learn that Mercedes-Benz will be revealing the SLS Black Series at the Los Angeles Auto Show this month. Or perhaps even tomorrow, as a Mercedes-Benz teaser dropped today on their Facebook page implies.!
The crew at Motor Trend sat down with some of AMG’s big players not too long ago, where the AMG guys spilled the beans on the SLS Black’s upcoming debut. Expect the 6.2 liter naturally-aspirated V8 to crank out around 630 horsepower; combine that with the expected weight loss over the regular SLS, and the Black Series should be one fast mofo. Add on top of that a wider body with enhanced aerodynamics, improved braking thanks to carbon ceramic discs and bigger wheels & tires, a faster-shifting gearbox and a more sporting chassis, and the SLS Black Series looks to be a super sports car the likes of which Mercedes-Benz rarely graces us with. Plan on an incredible 0-60 time, an even more impressive Nürburgring lap time and an eye-popping price tag.
But AMG’s didn’t earn their reputation building bespoke sports cars. Their bread and butter has always been making hot versions of Mercedes-Benz sedans (and later SUVs), and if their recent future model teaser is any indication, they don’t plan on giving that up anytime soon. However, a recent rumor from WorldCarFans has us a little startled: while AMG sedans have always traditionally sent their power down through the rear wheels alone, the 2014 E63 AMG—believed to get a power bump to 550 hp and a much more aggressive appearance in line with the E-Class’s upcoming redesign—will reportedly switch over to all-wheel-drive.
Now, there’s a certain element of sense to this. The current AMG models produce so much power and torque, they’re rapidly approaching the limited of RWD drivability. (In fact, without traction control helping out, slamming the throttle at anything less than 80 mph is likely to produce more wheelspin than forward motion in the current E63 AMG.) So in that respect, switching to AWD makes sense; it would allow the E63 to further improve its acceleration times, as well as making it more appealing to Snowbelt buyers who prefer AWD luxury sedans to RWD ones by a large margin.
But AMGs have never been about making sense. What’s sensible about a 4,000 pound sedan that cranks out more power than a Porsche 911 Turbo? AMGs are muscle cars for the rich and famous—good-looking versions of civilian cars that are a blast to hoon around in. Audi has proven that AWD sedans and oversteering fun can coexist, but AMG sedans should be more reckless than that. Here’s hoping they at least offer both RWD and AWD versions. Or at the very, very least, rear-bias the hell out of that driveline. [via Motor Trend, WorldCarFans, Mercedes-Benz AMG on Facebook]